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Church was never, till within these Last Two Hundred Years, exercis'd with the like Flagitious Wickedness: And therefore, our Expositor's own Condition, of God's acceptance of such Uninstituted Ministrations, will not here take place, - for his Proviso is this; That the People could have no other, and That the Necessity was real and unavoidable
among the fews ; but it is not SO among Christians : It never was, nor ever will be so, for the Reasons I have mention'd. And his supposing
Christians to be brought by God's Provi“ dence under a visible Neceflity of - Breaking “ through Rules and Methods, in order to the « being United in Worship and Government, is not fufficient to make Valid the Uninstituted Ministrations of any Number of Men, from this suppos’d Instance of the Jewish Church; till the imagined Neceffity of thofe Men can be prov'd to be as Real and Unavoidable, and as Universal too, as that of the Jewift Church is here represented to have been. Tho' after all, the Case was otherwise in that Church ; for notwithstanding the wickedness of Herod and the Roman Governors, and of the Jews too, in disposing of the High Priesthood, the Effential Institution of that High Priesthood was not Vacated. For,
2dly, Tho' our Expositor says, that. “God “ had by AN EXPRESS LAW fixed the
Pig's Priesthood in THE ELD-EST of Aaron's Family”; I must crave leave to say,
that this Express Law is not to be discover'd in the Canon of Holy Scripture. There we find the Institution of the Jewish High Priesthood to have been expresly in Aaron and his Sons. For thus says God to Moses, “ Take " thou unto thee Aaron thy Brother, and his “ Sons with him, from among the Children of: “ Ifrael, that he may Minister unto me in the “ Priest's Office. - And thou Malt make “ Holy Garments for Aaron thy Brother, for
Glory, and for Beauty, Exod. xxviii. 1, 2. The Description of those Glorious Garments is in the following part of that Chapter ; and they were appointed to be wore by him when he went into the Holy Place, i. e. within the Vail : Then at the 40th verse the Coats, Girdles, and Bonnets, for Aaron's Sons, are appointed ; and verse 41. God says to Moses concerning Aaron's Garment, and his sons Coats, C. “Thou shalt put them upon Aaron “ thy Brother and his Sons with him, and salt “ Anoint them, and Consecrate them, and Sancti.
fy them, that they may Minister unto me in “ 'the Priest's Office. And (verse 42. and 43.) “ thou shalt make them Linen Breeches, to cover “ their Nakedness, &c. And they shall be upon " Aaron and upon his Sons, when they come in
unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation, or " when THEY come near unto the Altar to " Minister in THE HOLY PLACE; " It shall be a Statute for ever unto him, and s hisSEED after him. Again, Exod. xl.
13, 14, 15. God commands Mofes to put upon Aaron the Holy Garments and Anoint him,&c, “ And to bring his Sons and Cloath them, 6. and Anoint them, that they may Minister “ in the Priefts Office : for their Anointing shall
surely be an everlasting Priesthood, throughout " their Generations. In the xvi. ch. of Levi, “ ticus we have an exact Description of the Atonement, and of the High Priest's Ministration thereof in the Holy Place once a Year, and not one Word of Aaron's ELDEST SON but indefinitely in verse 32. 'tis said, “ And " the Priest whom he shall Anoint, and whom he “sball Consecrate to Minister in the Priest?s “ Office in his FATHERS STEAD Mall make " the ATONEMENT, " This shall be an Everlasting Statute unto you to " make an Atonement, &c. Further, Lev. xxi. 10. God speaks of the High Priest without any particular designation of the Eldest to that Office; “ He that is the High Priest among 66 his Brethren, &c. So Numbers iii 10. Thou “ Mall appoint Aaron AND HIS SONS, and " they fall wait on their Priests Office, and the “ Stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to Death, “ Likewise, Numb, xviii. 1, The Lord spake şi unto Aaron, thou and thy Sons with thee fall • bear the Iniquity of your Priesthood. And “ ver. 7. Thou and thy Sons with thee fall keep
Jour Priests Office for every thing of the Altar, “ AND WITHIN THE VĂIL, and Y E By loall serve. I have given your Priests Office
and verse 34
unto you, as a Service of Gift, and the “ STRANGER that cometh nigh shall be put " to Death. Thus we see, that the High Priesthood was (by Express Law) in Aaron and his Sons; and no Mention made, that it should be and remain in the Line of the Eldest Son only.
I know 'twill be answer'd, That God himself commanded Moses to Consecrate Eleazar, the Eldest Son of Aaron, to be High Priest in the Stead of his father, Numb. xx. 25, 26, 27. and that therefore the Law confin'd the High Priesthood to the Eldest Son's Line.
In Return to this ; No one will deny so plain a Matter of fact, as that of Eleazar's Succession to the High Priesthood, and that it was by the Express Coinmand of God; but the Consequence which the Objector draws from this particular Instance, is not to be allow'd: Because, the Standing Law about the High Priesthood, is, That it Ihall be in Aaron and his Sons. And there is another Law concerning the same Office, that excludes the Eldest, as well as any other of Aaron's Sons, from that Great Dignity, if he should chance to have any Impediment mention'd in that Law: For, says God unto Moses, Lev. xxi, 17, to the 23d. “ Speak unto Aaron, Saying ;
WHOSOEVER he be of thy Seed in their “ Generations that hath any Blemish, let him not " approach to offer the Bread of his God: For
WHATSOËVER MAN he be that hath a
“ Blemish, he shall not approach ; a Blind Man,
or a Lame, or he that hath a flat Nose, or any thing superfluous, or a Man that is brokenfooted, or broken-handed, or crook-back’d, or
a Dwarf, or that hath a Blemish in his Eye, “ or be scurvy or scabbed, &c. NO MAN that “ hath á Blemish of the Seed of Aaron the Priest, “ shall come nigh to offer the Offerings of the “ Lord made by fire : He hath ã Blemish, &c. " he shall not go in unto ihe VAIL, nor come nigh
unto the Åltar, because he hath a Blemish. This is positive and express: And it cannot be fairly affirm'd, That God would secure all the Eldest Sons from every one of these Blemishes, thar they might Minister before him within the Vail. This is not to be suppos’d, that God would always interpose in Behalf of Thim only, and give them no Promise of such his more than Ordinary (no less than Miraculous ) Providence over their particular Perfons. So far is he from giving 'em this Security, that he fays, Whosoever, whatsoever Man “ he be of thy Seed in their Generations, that “ hath á Blemish, he shall not go in unto the “ Vail. As much as if he had faid; Even the otherwise molt Efteem'd Person of the Seed of Aaron, whether for being the Firstborn, or the Chief for Wisdom, Knowledge, &c. if he hath a Blemish, he shall not be High Priest, nor make an Atonement before me. One of these Blemishes might have happen’d to the Eldest, as well as to another;